Dr. Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Sun Lakes
Deep within our hearts is a longing for significance, an intense desire for purpose. It’s been said that as surely as a child breathes, he will someday wonder, “What is the purpose of my life?” Unfortunately, many people search for that purpose in a career. But can any vocation truly justify one’s existence? Yet, people buy into the idea that who they are is determined by what they do. So, they do a lot, hoping that they will gain an identity from their work. But God created us as human “beings,” not human “doings.” Other people try to find meaning in what they have, whether it’s a new house or new car or new clothes. But, of course, true identity is not in what we own. Apart from acknowledging God and His purpose for our lives, we are adrift in a sea of frustration, never finding the satisfaction for which we deeply crave.
On the other hand, consider the true story of a 97-year-old woman recovering from hip surgery by the name of Anne. Hers had been a great life, but she was tired and ready for heaven. “Why, Lord?” she pleaded. “Why am I still here? Isn’t it about that time?” Well, because she was one who had communicated with God for decades, she recognized His voice to her heart: “Anne, I still have something for you. Get out there and look around.” So, she grabbed her walker and made her way out to the gathering room of her senior living center. She saw most of the people nodding off to sleep while a sitcom played on the muted television. Anne muttered, “This is ridiculous. At least they could turn on the volume!” But then she noticed a lady off to the side who was having a coughing fit. “All right, Lord, I get it,” Anne silently prayed. “There’s still more for me to do. Use me, even here.” Anne eased over to the coughing lady and began to sing an old tune. Soon, two voices were joined in song. And when they finished every verse, the lady who had been coughing was now silent and had a contented smile on her face. Before leaving, Anne told her about how much God loved her. Anne then went to each person in the room, placing her arm around them gently, but always telling them about Jesus, the One who loved them more than anyone.
This woman is truly a picture of the description in Psalm 92:14, “They still bear fruit in old age.” But Anne’s life of purpose is based on her relationship with the living God and the open doors He gives her for touching the lives of others. While multitudes search for meaning in what they do or in what they own, here’s a woman who has found her significance and purpose in who she is in Christ. That changes everything!